Zynga has added Slingo, the old-school online game launched in 1996, to its social gaming lineup.
Slingo has been around for about 15 years, said Slingo general manager Eric Lamendola in an interview with The Post on Wednesday, but combining the game’s brand with the social networking options that Zynga offers through Facebook made a lot of sense to the company.
“With over 5 billion online games of Slingo played [since its launch], it made sense to work with Zynga, a leader in online social games,” Lamendola said.
For Zynga, the appeal of Slingo was to get a classic game into its lineup and add a few social features. Rich Sawel, a Zynga producer, said the game was a “natural fit.”
“We’re looking forward to bringing it back to the Facebook audience,” he said.
Slingo, for those who haven’t played it, is a marriage between bingo and slot machines. Players are presented with a bingo card that has slot-machine reels running across the bottom. Spin the reels and match any numbers that come up on your bingo card. As with traditional bingo, players aim to match a row of numbers.
Lamendola said the game will be comfortable for veteran players but the Zynga version, of course, has some added social elements.
For one, players will be able to give each other “energy,” which allows you play for longer periods of time. Users also will be able to purchase energy with Facebook Credits, or let it regenerate over time.
In another social twist, some of the wild-card “jokers” that let users scoop up more spots on the bingo card will have familiar faces. Known as “friend jokers” these special features act just like normal jokers but are linked to other friends who play the game. When a friend joker shows up to help you play a game, Slingo will let users send a quick thank-you gift to the helpful contact. You can also choose to trash-talk with your friends based on the rankings in the leaderboards composed of other players in your social network.
Zynga has also added a “Play with Friends” button to the game, which eventually will let players compete for high scores based on the same board.
“We’ve definitely put our Zynga special sauce into this,” Sawel said. “People have been playing these games for so long but this is a new take for us. We’re evolving the experience.”